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car repossession without notifying the debtor

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Does the law in Virginia require finance companies to notify you if they are going to repossess your car or can they just come and take it?

Your financial institution has the legal rights to repossess your car if you have failed to make the payments to them. Unless you have been given some grace period, they can take actions even if you are one day late.

Virginia laws state that the company does not need to notify you before picking the car.
They can pick it from any place while it is parked. But, if they pick the car without any legal reason, it is a felony. Car can be sold after repossession and you will have to pay the balance amount if the total due has not been completely recovered as a result of the auction.

To avoid this action from taking place, talk to your lenders. Know the present situation and make arrangements to pay the debt. This will be much easier rather than going through the embarrassment.

Sub: #1 posted on Mon, 01/09/2006 - 15:54

john john

(Posts: 1231 | Credits: )

So, I have a a question. I guess it's something I have always wondered about car repossessions. If someone has a car repossessed, do they have to pay the balance off completely even though the person does not have the car anymore? I guess I am referring to in the event that the car is not sold after repossession.

Sub: #2 posted on Tue, 01/10/2006 - 03:08

skrying skrying

(Posts: 41 | Credits: )

Your creditors have the rights repossess your car whenever there is a default in paying back the loan amount. For this activity to take place, they don't need to issue any notice to you. After repossession has taken place, you will have to pay the balance due on the loan as well as the towing and storage costs borne by the company, to get your car back.

You still have a chance to get your car back. If you are unable to make the payment during this time, your car can be auctioned and you will have to pay the balance amount if the total has not been fully recovered.

Sometimes, it is better to sell the car by yourself and pay off the debt when you are seeing a default approaching. By doing this, the cost of repossession and a negative entry in the CR can be possibly avoided.

Sub: #3 posted on Tue, 01/10/2006 - 08:43

david david

(Posts: 1229 | Credits: )

so you are paying for something you no longer own. how is that fair?

Sub: #4 posted on Fri, 03/02/2007 - 19:54


Here's a scenario I come across a lot: debtor finances a car, then drives around without insurance and the car gets totalled. Then debtor says "why should I keep paying when the car is wrecked?" Why?

The finance company did not sell the vehicle to you, they financed it. They spent money out of their pocket so that you could have the car. If your loan was for $12,000 then that means the finance company cut a check to the car dealer for $12,000 on your behalf. You owe it back to them, whether you have the vehicle or not.

The car is simply a form of security pledged against your promise to pay the loan back. If you default, the finance company takes their chattel and sells it for whatever it is worth at auction. Whatever they sell it for is applied to your balance. If they sell it for more than you owe on the loan, they give you a refund. If they sell it for less than you owe, then you still owe the remaining balance.

Put yourself in their shoes. Suppose you have a "good" friend who wants a car. You agree to loan him the money and you cut a check to the car dealer for $10,000 to cover the purchase; the car dealer puts your name on the title as a lienholder but your friend is the legal owner. Your friend pays you back $1000 then stops paying (he still owes you $9K). You call him several times and he doesn't return your phone calls. You may start to worry that he won't pay you back. Several months go by and he still doesn't pay you a dime. So you stop by his house one day and take the car. ... Turns out he's had a few fender benders, spilled soda all over the seats and carpet, broke off the turn signal lever, hasn't taken care of the car ... you can only sell the car for $5000. Would you want to lose $4000 "just because he doesn't have the car anymore?" Wouldn't you want break even?

Sub: #5 posted on Fri, 03/02/2007 - 20:05

DebtCruncher DebtCruncher
(Posts: 2293 | Credits: )


I have found your forum very interesting and informative. Now I need some advice. I have a divorce decree stating that a car debt that I co-signed for back in 2000 is the sole responsibility of my ex. We have been divorced since 08/2002. It shows on my credit report as "voluntarily surrendered" in 10/2002-- And a tremendous balance due. The auto company also reports on a monthly basis that no payment has been made. I was never informed that the payments had gone late, that the car was surrendered, (or for that matter that there was a problem with it at all!) I believe that the agencies involved assumed I was informed of the situation because I shared his last name. I accidentally found out about it upon requesting a credit report. From time to time I receive collection calls on this. When I tell them the divorce situation and read them the judgment they just tell me that they do not have to recognize the court's order. Most recently I received a message from First Financial Asset Management. When I returned the phone call asking for information I was told that they would not tell me anything about the debt unless I agreed to "be recorded" stating that I was going to pay it. Needless to say, I did not negotiate with these people. My recent credit inquiries show that this item is scheduled to be removed from my report in 10/2009. I have talked to several attorneys regarding post-judgment orders against my ex-husband but this appears to be very costly. Any advice from someone who has been in a similar situation is greatly appreciated.

Sub: #6 posted on Tue, 05/15/2007 - 17:21


Sometimes if a car is repoed, the finance company will let you have it back if you get caught up on the payments, but you usually only have a short time to do this, but I think it all depends on the company and the circumstances for the repocession.

Sub: #7 posted on Tue, 05/15/2007 - 18:38

2nband 2nband
(Posts: 2279 | Credits: )

I think the CA is telling the truth. You signed with the creditor, but you did not divorce the creditor, regardless of the judge's order. If I had to guess, you ex was unable to obtain new financing for the car, and turned it in/had it repo'd instead. He may or may not have known what the outcome would be. Whatever the case, I think your best, if not, only option, is to pursue this through a divorce attorney.

I'd send a letter to the CA, return receipt, revoking their right to call you. Make them do everything through the mail--this cuts a lot of the crap. You can also send a separate letter demanding validation of the debt.

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 05/16/2007 - 04:14

Morningstar Morningstar

(Posts: 1633 | Credits: )

[quote]From time to time I receive collection calls on this. When I tell them the divorce situation and read them the judgment they just tell me that they do not have to recognize the court's order.[/quote]

I'm a little confused about that statement you made. A collection agency doesn't have to listen to the court order? I'm confused. Were there some stipulations in your divorce?

Sub: #9 posted on Wed, 05/16/2007 - 05:23

Teleport Teleport

(Posts: 1388 | Credits: )

I believe that the creditor is trying to tell me that the debt is still mine, despite the court order stating differently. Basically they are saying that they do not have to recognize a divorce. As a footnote to a response above, I have requested a validation of the debt from the original auto company and everyone who has called since. I have received nothing from anyone. I disputed the debt with the credit reporting agencies but the investigations came back validating the debt. Is there a Statute of Limitations that may apply here? The original transaction and divorce was in NJ. Thanks for all of the help!

Sub: #10 posted on Wed, 05/16/2007 - 15:16


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